Kansas City ranks high in government use of social media

Hey, @MayorSlyJames, a University of Illinois at Chicago study says you’re doing a good job using social media.

The study measured municipal governments’ use of social media avenues, like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Kansas City came in fifth in the study behind first place contenders New York and Seattle, Virgina Beach, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.

Karen Mossberger, head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s public administration graduate program, and Yonghong Wu, associate professor, analyzed and ranked the online interactivity, transparency and accessibility of the country’s 75 largest cities from March through May 2011. They used the data to compile the Civic Engagement Index, and compared it with their findings from a study they conducted in 2009.

The cities’ rankings reflected opportunities for citizen participation and information, including:
— hosting of open data portals
— comments allowed on blogs and social networks
— the extent to which online discussions concerned policy as well as city services
— information on officials, budgets, city council meetings and neighborhood issues

National Study Ranks City Governments’ Use of Social Media

Released: 3/22/2012 2:45 PM EDT
Source:University of Illinois at Chicago

Newswise — More than six times as many big city governments reached citizens via Facebook in 2011 compared to 2009, while use of YouTube and Twitter grew fourfold and threefold respectively, a new study indicates.

Karen Mossberger, head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s public administration graduate program, and Yonghong Wu, associate professor, analyzed and ranked the online interactivity, transparency and accessibility of the country’s 75 largest cities from March through May 2011. They used the data to compile the Civic Engagement Index, and compared it with their findings from a study they conducted in 2009.

The cities’ rankings reflected opportunities for citizen participation and information, including:
— hosting of open data portals
— comments allowed on blogs and social networks
— the extent to which online discussions concerned policy as well as city services
— information on officials, budgets, city council meetings and neighborhood issues

Mossberger said the top-ranked city governments have made technology a priority, especially for transparency or civic engagement.

Other cities were praised for their use of providing open data for citizens. Chicago, for instance, hosted an app contest, and puts much of its data (including reporters’ FOIA requests) online.

“In Chicago, for example, the Emanuel administration solicited budget ideas last summer on Twitter,” Mossberger said. “Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer regularly holds a virtual ‘Talk to Greg’ on Facebook and Twitter. Seattle is experimenting with platforms like the IdeaScale, where users can submit and rate ideas.”

Open data portals were found in only 12 cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Louisville, Ky., Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The portals allow users access to city data on crime, budgets, Freedom of Information Act requests, city facilities, vacant land, building permits and other matters.

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